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27 July 2005, 11:59 am
Bullets Across The Board
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Rolex Swan American Regatta 2005
Newport, Rhode Island, USA

The second day of the Rolex Swan American Regatta brought much lighter wind than the blustery first day, calling for very different sailing skills from the 39 teams competing in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
Monday was all about brute force and courage in the face of very challenging conditions. Yesterday was about boat speed and smart tactics around the race course, with the wind blowing a very warm and pleasant eight to twelve knots from the southwest.

The change in weather had remarkably little effect on the leaderboard of the four divisions. In Class D, the non-spinnaker division, Reef Points, Joseph HUBER's (USA) Swan 44 added two more victories to its win from the Monday. On the morning's triangular race course, Reef Points stayed in touch with the bigger boats to finish by three seconds ahead of Neal FINNEGAN's (USA) Swan 56 Clover III on corrected time.

For the second and final race of the day, the New York Yacht Club race committee set a zig-zag course that took the fleet to a finish inside Narragansett Bay, off Fort Adams State Park. 'We played the current perfectly; in fact we got so close to the shore we could have grabbed a beer off the rocks,' laughed HUBER, who admitted at this point he was beginning to question the wisdom of his navigator Jeff KENTZEN. 'Fortunately we had some good local knowledge on board, and the crew said the bow would hit before the keel!'

HUBER also paid tribute to his tactician Fletch PERKINS. 'He did a great job of getting us off the start line in both races,' he said. 'We had really good upwind boat speed and we were always in touch with the bigger boats. In the second race we actually led around the first mark.' Considering that the Swan 44 is up against a number of Swan 56s and even a Swan 60, that was no mean feat.

In Class A, the big boat division, Jim SWARTZ's (USA) Swan 601 Moneypenny displayed similar dominance, winning both races with ease. In the morning race, Moneypenny's corrected time victory was almost five minutes ahead of Clay DEUTSCH's (USA) Swan 68 Chippewa. 'We had a fantastic day,' said SWARTZ. 'The boat was performing beautifully. We had some brilliant tactical calls from Dee [SMITH (USA)] picked up a couple of shifts - we just couldn't be happier. It was a walk in the park after yesterday [Monday].'

Leon CHRISTIANAKIS and Martin JACOBSON (USA) maintained their lead in Class B with a two minute victory for their Swan 44 Crescendo in the first race of the day. With results factored in from the final race, Crescendo still leads its class.

The Swan 45 one-design fleet had the busiest day, with three races held. Following a dominant display in the windy conditions on day one, Goombay Smash, owned by Doug DOUGLASS (USA) proved equally adept at the more delicate conditions yesterday. He notched up a useful scoreline of 1,2,1. In the third and final race, heavy fog rolled in across the race course and turned the race into a game of hide and seek. 'It was fantastically close sailing and particularly fun in the fog,' said DOUGLASS. 'Vim and Bellicosa were hunting the mark with us and it was extremely tight, but we just clinched the win.'

While DOUGLASS' Goombay Smash is leading the Swan 45 class, there is a protest between Craig SPECK's VIM this evening. Even if Goombay Smash were to be disqualified, however, it would still maintain its lead over second place Bellicosa, owned by Massimo FERRAGAMO (USA).

Today the fleet embarks on the long distance race. Although the course is yet to be decided, the race committee would like to send the fleet on a 19 mile course around Conanicut Island.

Event Media. Image, Goombay Smash:© Dan Nerney/Rolex
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